People at a concert forming hearts with their hands (Photo: Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash)

Austria | The Beer Party, founded largely as a joke, has said that it will enter into this year’s parliamentary elections, provided it can recruit 20,000 new members and raise funds before the end of April.

Cyclists on a road (Photo by Noralí Nayla on Unsplash)

The Netherlands | At the behest of public health advocates, 2024 saw the excise on beer, wines, and spirits rise by 8.4 percent. Some Dutch cities, including Utrecht, Haarlem, and Groningen, also decided to ban alcohol advertising on municipal billboards.

Person at a pub table looking at their phone (Photo: Burçin Ergünt on Unsplash)

The Netherlands | Beer industry associations worry that the excise increase will hit brewers hard. In recent years, the Netherlands has developed into a leading beer country with almost 1,000 breweries. The tax hike puts this at risk, according to recent research commissioned by the Dutch Beer Culture Heritage Foundation, the Dutch Brewers Association, and CRAFT, which represents craft brewers.

Neon sign saying Warszawa Powisle (Photo: John Nzoka on Unsplash)

Poland | The Polish brewing industry experienced a massive decline in 2023 – production may have dropped by as much as 7 percent, wiping out 2 million hl in beer sales over 2022.

Brew kettle, close-up (Photo: Martin Martz on Unsplash)

Czech Republic | State-owned Budějovický Budvar (Budweiser Budvar) brewed a record 1.8 million hl of beer in 2023, up 4.3 percent (+77 000 hl) year-on-year. More than 70 percent of its output was exported. Budvar expects to have reached sales of more than CZK 3 billion (USD 130 million) in 2023.

Person holding a slim white beverage can (Photo: Monica di Loxley on Unsplash)

Denmark | The Danish beer industry could not have cared less that Carlsberg acquired a minority stake in the iconic craft brewer Mikkeller. Since the deal was announced on 16 January, no hostile comments have appeared on the web as far as we can see. Maybe the deal has been expected for years?

Person drinking a glass of water (Photo: engin akyurt on Unsplash)

Germany | What, on earth, possessed them? At the beginning of January, Bitburger brewery posted a photo of a pregnant woman with a bulging and naked baby bump drinking a bottle of beer. The motif and the tagline “Tested by mums. Brewed for all of you” (trans.) caused widespread indignation.

Olympic rings (Photo: Bryan Turner on Unsplash)

Belgium | AB-InBev is becoming the first-ever beer sponsor for the next three Olympic and Paralympic Games, media reported on 12 January. Rather than use the sponsorship to advertise an established beer, though, AB-InBev will promote its non-alcoholic brand Corona Cero globally to show the company’s and International Olympic Committee’s commitment to responsible consumption.

Time-lapse photography of a street at night (Photo: Stephan Seeber on Unsplash)

Italy | How serious is the issue of tax evasion by smuggling beer into Italy? In October 2023, the Italian police confiscated 2 500 litres (62 kegs) of German beer on the Motorway A22 just across the border from Austria.

Bridge in Moscow (Photo: Alex Zarubi on Unsplash)

Russia | Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the EU banned the export of champagne, high-end cars, expensive electronics, and sports gear to the country – but not beer. After dipping 30 percent in sales in 2022 to USD 161 million, according to Statista, beer imports were on the rise again in 2023.

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